Tony Evers seeks a third term after battles with conservatives, cancer and Common Core

It’s been 20 years since state superintendent Tony Evers first ran to oversee the state’s public school system.

Eight since he won over enough voters to get the job. Seven years since Republicans took control of the rest of state government. Six since public school teachers stormed the state Capitol ahead of virtually losing their ability to bargain, and private-school vouchers became available outside Milwaukee. And five years since a doctor told Evers he was cured of a cancer that kills most people who get it.

Evers, 65, has held his post as head of the Department of Public Instruction during eight years of significant transition in the state’s education landscape, which began while he was still recovering from esophageal cancer.

Evers began his career as a teacher and principal in Tomah, then became superintendent in tiny Oakfield and oversaw a population boom in rural Verona in the mid-1990s before moving into regional and state school administration.

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